Does this leaked seatmap for Singapore Airlines' new Airbus A380 first class cabin confirm the superjumbo will have just six of the luxe suites ranked either side of an Etihad-style centre aisle?
The seatmap – which appeared briefly on the Singapore Airline website, albeit with the name test.pdf and labelled 'Layout 3' – shows three rows of two suites on the upper deck (we'd already tipped a change from the lower deck of today's SQ superjumbos).
That matches perfectly with snaps of the Star Alliance member's new A380 undergoing test flights at Toulouse, as shown below, where the upper deck sports three sets of two windows
The six suite count represents a 50% cut from today's dozen first class cribs, although they're rumoured to be almost double the size of their first-gen counterparts.
More crucially for some, it also appears to removes the ability to have two adjacent suites in the middle of the A380 converted into a double bed suite – although Singapore Airlines could still enable this by connecting suites such as A1 and A2, F2 and F3 and so on.
The configuration chart also confirms an 'all-premium' upper deck, with the first class suites section followed by 78 new business class seats divided into three cabins – one massive stretch of 50 seats, one medium sized of 20 seats and one of just eight seats.
There's also no sign of the rumoured lounge area which the airline was said to have been considering some time back.
We've made the (admittedly low-res) PDF available as a download, for readers who're curious – but we repeat that this might not be the final layout, as Singapore Airlines is known to play its cards very very close to its chest.
We'll know for sure when Singapore Airlines launches the new first class suites and business class seats around mid-year, and then flies the first of its new A380s to Sydney, an exercise which the airline hopes to achieve on October 25, 2017.
This is something which Airbus has been championing among superjumbo customers, and will see Singapore Airlines' fresh flagship A380s - the first of which arrives in October 2017 – sport a 'premium' upper deck dedicated to first and business class.
The lower deck becomes the realm of economy, with premium economy sitting at the front of the cabin – where today's first class suites reside – and economy stretched behind that.
Aviation blogger Tom Bihun from FlightMaestro has joined the dots by comparing photos of Singapore Airlines' newest Airbus A380 undergoing a test flight at Toulouse with the Star Alliance member's current A380.
Here's the first of five factory-fresh A380s bound for Singapore Airlines as part of its fleet renewal (photo courtesy of Eurospot):
And here is today's Singapore Airlines A380 (photo courtesy of Airbus PR):
Notice the difference between the windows at the superjumbo's nose, on both the lower and upper decks?
On the airline's current A380s, the lower deck has four groupings of well-spaced windows which correspond to where the first class suites are located.
On the new A380, those windows now appear on the upper deck – and in three groups of two, which also accords with the fact that we know the new A380s will have fewer suites than today's 12 – perhaps six 'supersuites' arranged either side of a central aisle.
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